Trust In The Lord

It was the middle of the night during the spring. The city was busy and bustling because of the annual holiday. The governor was in his home. It was a warm night and all he wanted to do was get some sleep. Yet he started hearing some commotion outside his window. He looked out  and saw there was a group of officials approaching his house. It appeared that they were bringing him a prisoner. “What? Why now? At This time? On a holiday weekend?” He thought to himself. A crowd started to form behind them. He went outside to see what it was all about.

The officials wanted the governor's approval for sentencing this criminal. They were not allowed to carry it out without his say so. He didn’t know why this was happening. What was all the urgency? He looked like a harmless peasant. To appease his constituents he examined the case and questioned the suspect. Afterward he was even more convinced that this was all so silly. The governor went out to them and said he found nothing guilty in this man they arrested. The charges were baseless. Certainly nothing that would require something so severe as the death penalty. But the officials insisted. They pressured him to give them what they wanted. They shouted at him. They started inciting the crowd outside around them. He started feeling the adrenaline pump in his veins. He was getting a little nervous. “Why are they so persistent about this? Why is this so important to them?” The questions raced through his mind. The crowd was getting louder and bigger. The governor also thought of something else…his boss! What would he think if a riot started on his watch? Could he lose his job if he could not control those underneath him? He was trying to find a way out of this mess. How could he sentence an innocent man to death? But at the same time how can he allow the city to riot on his watch? He got an idea! What political genius! I’ll offer to pardon one of two men. This peasant they brought to me or a true hardened criminal. Surely they wouldn't want a real proven convict loose on the streets?! That should satisfy them!

So he went out and declared his ultimatum. The officials yelled back up to him that they wanted the real criminal released! The governor was shocked! Are they mad? What is wrong with them? I can’t believe that didn’t work! He was nervous. His heart was pounding in his chest. His forehead and palms started sweating. He was really really concerned about what could happen. He couldn’t see a way out. He was worried about his career and what would happen to him if things got out of control. But he also felt guilty to sentence this nobody. He was torn. “I know “ he thought, “I’ll have him flogged and tortured! Maybe that will satisfy them enough to go home!” He gave the order. The soldiers took the convict and had him brutally beaten and whipped. The soldiers were very good at inflicting unbearable pain. Meanwhile, inside his home, the governor was getting very restless from this political pressure. He wondered what was taking the soldiers so long. Finally they brought back the peasant. “Whoa! Oh my goodness!”, the governor said under his breath. I can’t believe how horrible he looks. I can’t believe he’s still alive! The peasant had a hard time breathing. Blood was pouring all over his body. He could barely stand. So much of his skin was exposed. You could tell that every breath he took brought on more pain. “This has got to work”, he thought to himself, “He’s practically dead already! They have to be satisfied with this punishment he got. Some guilty men don’t deserve this bad a beating, let alone an innocent one.”

He walked the bloody and battered man out for the crowd to see. They were so happy! But it still was not enough. They wanted more. They wanted to kill him!! The governor tried to reason with them. But they didn’t want to hear it. The officials had a large swath of people chanting to kill this man! They were surrounding his house, chanting louder and louder. He was afraid they were going to storm his home! He said to them, “This is one of your own, Shall I kill this innocent man?” Then they yelled back to him, “If you don’t do this you are no friend of the king” What?! That did it. He knew this could be the end of him and all that he worked so hard for. So what if this man dies? It's just one person, right? As governor I have done so much good for so many more! How can I abandon the many over just one? And so, he gave in and sentenced the peasant to death.

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, this was referring to the death of Christ. The governor I was referring to was Pontius Pilate. Now this was obviously dramatized. I took great liberties with what Pilate thought to himself. But the point I want to get across is very clear in the Bible. Pilate did not want to sentence Jesus to death. He found nothing guilty about him. Yet he gave into fear, political pressure and the mob outside his home. The reason I write this is to show you no matter how right a politician may think, they are still human and can cave to the pressures of the job. I mention this with in mind,  a recent political event that occurred where a governor caved in just like Pilate.

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem vetoed House Bill 1217. The bill basically stated it would require athletes participating in state sanctioned sports to compete in events that aligned with their sex determined at birth. Why is this a big deal? Because Governor Noem, a republican and conservative, kept stating in her campaigning that she would be eager to sign this bill into law! Many people on the conservative side of politics have praised the governor over the past year or so for her many decisions involving Covid, gender politics and religious freedoms. Some have even said that she could be a potential candidate for the 2024 presidential election. Her signing this bill was right in line with numerous other decisions she had made and her political platform. It was all but a sure thing. Not many saw this coming.

So what happened? She has been saying all along that she supports and would sign this bill. So why did she veto it? She hasn’t been very clear about that. She stated that, "Unfortunately, as I have studied this legislation and conferred with legal experts over the past several days, I have become concerned that this bill's vague and overly broad language could have significant unintended consequences,” What are these consequences? Most believe there are two; college athletics and Amazon.

As Albert Mohler reported on his podcast, “Well, the Governor is not telling us straight up what happened, the context and her comments put together have to explain what happened. And what happened is that whether or not there was some kind of overt warning that was given to the Governor of South Dakota. She came to the conclusion that pressure from groups such as the NCAA could mean that South Dakota could be denied NCAA events, and that there could be other sanctions brought against the State if indeed, the State went ahead with this law and she signed it into effect as governor. But as it turns out the twists and the tail indicate as you expect, there's more to the story, the outright economic coercion or pressure may well have been brought either overtly or not so overtly by Amazon, because Amazon has been planning to build a major distribution center in the State.” She, like Pilate and so many other politicians over the years, caved into the pressure.

This also happened a couple of years ago in North Carolina. The legislature passed what was called a bathroom bill. The bill basically stated that you could only go into the bathroom of the gender you were born with. Immediately there was much backlash and political pressure from many influential groups. The NCAA, NBA and PayPal all stated they would withdraw their business form the state if this bill remained on the books. Famous celebrities, activists and athletes went to social media to express their disdain of the bill. An analysis by the Associated Press determined that the bill could cost the state 3.7 billion dollars of lost business over the course of 12 years. And so what happened? The state repealed the law. The conservative, republican politicians went back on what they promised the public just like Governor Noem. They caved like Pilate.

Now there is a new political storm bringing about massive financial and political pressure. It is in the state of Georgia and the bill is about voter registration. This past week, Delta, Home Depot, Coca-Cola and the MLB have all publicly come out against this bill. They are all threatening to leave the state if it were to pass. It will be interesting to see if these politicians will also cave. If they will be like so many who give in to the loud voices as opposed to doing what is right.

What is the point in all of this? Simple, don’t place your faith in politicians. And before you quickly dismiss this, ask yourself something. How did you feel when Trump lost this last election? How did you feel when Democrats took over the House and Senate? It doesn’t matter if you were happy or sad. Any type of emotional response like that could show you may be placing too much trust in politics. Whether you were elated or disheartened, many Christians have been placing too much faith in elected officials. Did you hold out hope that there was voter fraud and the election would be overturned? Isn’t your hope supposed to be in the Lord? Easter was God’s foreordained plan for our salvation. But in and through that plan a politician gave into political pressure and condemned an innocent man. Let us realize that our hope is in the Lord. That no matter who is in office, the problem with this world is sin. And the only thing that can solve that is Christ. For on Easter He conquered the death sentence that a politician gave Him.

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